iMac g4 monitor/screen problem.

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by OWriDL, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. OWriDL macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2011
    So my iMac monitor wouldn't stay up if i moved it up and it would just fall back on my desk. Now, it seems like there's something inside the metal arm that is pulling the bottom of the screen so that it is angled downward. I have to use something to keep it in place and at a viewable angle. I couldn't find any forums or anything with similar problems. Any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks!:)
  2. MacForScience macrumors 6502


    Sep 7, 2010
    You probably need to replace the arm. You may be able to just remove and replace the arm though I have never tried. I would look for a broken iMac that has an arm that works and use it for parts.

  3. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
  4. SkippyThorson macrumors 65816


    Jul 22, 2007
    Utica, NY
    After taking these things apart, gutting them, cleaning, tinkering, and reassembly, let me tell you that the iMac G4 is the most challenging computer I've ever had to work on. At least in the G3s, there is a good bit of room, and although I've never been in a G5 iMac, I can guess things aren't as clustered considering the surface area available to work with.

    Mechanically, the arm is extremely solid and very well-built. Functionally, it is the nicest feature I've ever seen on a desktop anywhere. Period. Aesthetically, it's an amazing piece of architecture and design. I can't sign its praises enough. I love these things! That's why I couldn't have just 1. :D

    The only downside to that chrome arm is the inability to easily work on it yourself. I've only ever taken one of them apart in my life, and it never (intentionally) went back together completely - I gutted the wires out in hopes of making a project out of it; a lamp, one day.

    This is an excellent suggestion. If you can get a working arm from an identical computer, I would absolutely do it. If you can't find anything, don't want to try a swap, or want a do-it-yourself repair, keep reading.

    I have to advise you that you should NOT take apart the arm unless you're very comfortable working on gyro-balanced-things like that. A term I once read used to describe it was "Military-Grade". That's the most spot-on description I've ever heard. I got it apart with handy needle nose pliers. The hardest time I had was when it was actually apart. I'll explain what I did:

    1. To get inside the iMac G4 to the arm, you have to disassemble the base, from the bottom up; working backwards. Everything, including the fan, is blocking access to the bottom of the arm, which is attached to the metal frame of the dome.
    2. To get to the other end in the computer, you have to disassemble the screen. Again, the metal frame of the screen housing is what the arm attaches to. Everything else is in front of it. BE VERY CAREFUL for those delicate connectors attached to the screen.
    3. Once you have just the arm in your hands, no pun intended, I used needle-nose pliers in 2 of the 3 holes on both sides of the arm that was attached to the screen. One will turn towards you, and one will not move. The one that turns is the screw - the other holds one end of the pivot.
    5. There is a very strong tensioner that allows the screen angle to stay stationary when the arm angle moves. Be sure the bearing doesn't go shooting across the room when you split the arm in half.
    6. Now very, very carefully, try to pry the arm apart; from the side you just unscrewed - yes, while leaving the other end attached. You may want to loosen it, but don't take it completely apart. I didn't. I was better off.
    7. You should be able to get to all the wires and the guts of the arm, but DO NOT let that bearing move out of place.
    8. If the bearing slips off its pivot, you need to pry it back up and in to place - I used a very strong, narrow crowbar with a pick on the end. It's a pain to get back in.
    9. For reassembly, just work backwards, making sure the arm is as tight as when you got it off. Don't worry about over-tightening, that screw-half of the hinge you took off is just the right size so that it can not possibly bind the arm in place. Too loose, and I'd be afraid that enough movement would allow it to undo itself - better safe than sorry.

    I hope this helped. Again, as always, I apologize for my long-winded posts. I just enjoy tech stuff too much. :) Feel free to ask for any help. I'd offer you parts if necessary, but I sold off all the big stuff just recently. I have odds and ends left over; fan, internal speaker, etc.
  5. reddrag0n macrumors 6502


    Oct 1, 2007
    I didn't have any sort of bearing in mine when i took mine apart. The tension spring is attached to one of the side casings, and the torsion bar was attached to both the knuckle joints. When things did come out from their perspective places, i just used a small screwdriver to lift the spring into place and it popped right back in.
    The only pain in the butt was trying to put back the black plastic sleeve bushings.

    But after all of that, i was able to run a power cord through the neck of my dead iMac in order to make it a lamp.
  6. eljanitor macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2011
    You need a new neck for them if you want it to work like it did when it was new. So you have to take apart the case and the display ( basically the entire computer) to replace the neck. Then you need to make sure you clean and reapply thermal paste on the places on the case where the heat sink makes contact with the case.

    The repair can take over an hour depending on how familiar you are with this model. One of the first things to get damaged when an iMac like this goes limp is that the display bezel hits the desk and breaks. So you end up replacing that too for aesthetics eventually.
  7. SkippyThorson macrumors 65816


    Jul 22, 2007
    Utica, NY
    :eek: Bearing may have been the wrong word - joint is more accurate, yes. As for your lamp. You, sir, are my hero. I'll be copying that soon. :)
  8. Goftrey macrumors 68000


    May 20, 2011
    Wales, UK
    Yeah sounds like you need a new arm but aren't all the cables in there? So it'd be one hell of a job to do... I'd look at coming together with a home made fix. Maybe stick something up against the arm to give it support. Sorry I can't be much more of help on this, I'm not an expert on iMac G4's :eek:

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